Sunday, December 16, 2018

Fear: Trumplethinskin in the White House

Rating: 5 Stars

Fair warning before you read any further:

Image result for i love jesus but i cuss a little

In this review especially, I cuss a lot (and I actually do own a shirt that says this. I wear it to church sometimes. And my pastors still love me)

You'll have to excuse my not posting a cover. I honestly can't stand to look at his face any more than I can stand to hear his voice. So, we all know what that goober looks like, let's save ourselves the trouble and just go right into the review.

This book once again reiterates why Bob Woodward is such a fantastic journalist. He takes a wholly unlikable douchebag - and while said douchebag remains unlikable - Woodward writes without bias. It's almost like he feels sorry for trumplethinskin and chose to go a neutral route, because that is who Woodward is. A writer of Woodward's caliber has no need to exaggerate or pile on, he need only report the facts, which he does quite splendidly. And if we didn't already know what a douchebag trumplethinskin was, you might start to feel a little sorry for him too. Like, seriously, how does someone live 75 years and not know...anything? ANYTHING?? All the knowledge there is in the world, and trumplethinskin doesn't even have a tiny bit of it. There was a section where someone was literally explaining to him why we can't just print more money; he had zero concept of how that would completely tank our economy. In that section he asks why we can't just "run the presses - print money" (page 56). I can't even.

However, then I remember that this idiot called a bunch of racist assholes "very fine people" and I remember why I don't feel sorry for him at all. And he employs the pompous spray-on-hair-guy Stephen Miller, architect of the plan to rip children from their parents, who are only seeking asylum from the wars and gangs who are terrorizing them in their native countries. Come on now, why would these desperate parents risk their lives and the lives of their children on such a dangerous journey, if the alternative wasn't certain death?

If you are contemplating reading either this book, or Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury, I suggest both. Wolff's book is a hot mess of dysfunction and chaos. Woodward's book is calmer and more even-handed. Yet, both draw the same conclusion: we currently have a giant man-baby instead of a president, and he is someone who does not belong in the highest office in the land, leading what was once the greatest nation on earth. Sad, but true.

I could not fathom being someone inside the White House who has to attempt to reign in trumplethinskin on his most tantrum-y of days. There's stories here of staffers distracting him with other things, while hiding certain memos so he won't see and sign them. SERIOUSLY! HE SIGNS ANYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS HIS DESK! Does that sound like someone who is fit to be in the White House? I don't think so. Yet even as Woodward discussions these instances, he is not mean-spirited or malicious. He remains collected and composed, not giving in to the chaos of his subject, and I think that shows remarkable restraint, because every time I hear that douchenozzle talk, I want to pop my ear drums just so I don't have to hear him anymore.

Much of what is here is not necessarily new, but Woodward provides much more detail. We get plenty of info from Preibus and that psycho Steve Bannon, who is just as disgusting as his former "boss", and deserves no accolades for giving further insight into what he witnessed. Though, on a very teeny tiny itsy bitsy level I appreciate him yelling at Ivanka and calling her a staffer. She and her husband are both just as dirty as her father. There are numerous sources for Woodward to get the full inside picture from, and he protects them all, as he should. This is such an important part of the freedom in our country, that of being able to keep sources anonymous to protect them from arrest - you know, the thing that the first amendment actually talks about (No, your first amendment rights are not being trampled if someone decides not to support your television show with ads. You are as free as you want to be an asshole on television every day, just as everyone else is free to not support you and your asshole-ish ways.) 

One of the scariest aspects of this book is that we see plain as day how even when his own team is trying to impart at least a little bit of knowledge in order to make him understand why something is a good or terrible idea, he can not grasp what they are saying - or he refuses to. Perhaps it is a combination of both. We see again that he has zero understanding of foreign or domestic policy, even though he does have at least some people who know what the hell they are talking about. He really truly lives in some kind of bizarro land where Iran is not in compliance with the nuclear weapons agreement (they are), or that this stupid fucking border wall will keep out undocumented immigrants (it won't). Anything that does not fit into this bizarro fantasy world he has created for himself is automatically FAKE NEWS and then all his supporters get all riled up and whatnot. It's not fake news just because you don't know about it or understand it, morons. Please, I beg of you, educate yourselves. Fox Propaganda will not do that for you, sorry.

If you are not yet convinced that trumplethinskin is a complete idiot, I offer perhaps one of my favorite quotes from the book regarding his interview with John Bolton for the National Security Adviser position:

"His answers were fine, but Trump did not like his big, bushy mustache" (pg 87)


Trumplethinskin didn't want to hire someone because of HIS MUSTACHE! Oh the comedy and horror, all rolled into one. I straight up laughed at that for a good couple of minutes.

I feel like this whole trumplethinskin presidency will have one really positive, really great outcome: it will mobilize those who have stayed home in the past, and drive record numbers to the polls in 2020. It has to, because our very world is at stake here. Not just 'life as we know it', but our world, our planet. The man-baby has appointed people to head the EPA who have gutted it completely and rolled back so many needed mandates to protect our little slice of the universe. If for no other reason (completely ignoring literally everything else that makes trumplethinskin wholly unlikable, a racist misogynist, and a dangerous fucking moron), voters MUST see the need to save our planet, or there will be nothing left to leave for our children. Right now, we are borrowing this earth from future generations. We must leave it in a better condition than we found it in. That is, of course, if all of trumplethinskin's peacock posturing doesn't get every lit up in WWIII. Time and again it has been proven that Democrats win when Democrats come out to vote, Republicans win when Democrats stay home. As the party becomes more progressive (Beto, I have cautiously optimistic high hopes for you, please don't screw this up).

I think the title of the book is extremely interesting. Those who can see the big picture are fearful for our future, the future of our children, and the future of our once-great nation. But trumplethinskin is afraid too, and that makes him even more dangerous. He is paranoid and suspicious, and attacks those that he either knows have information on him, or assumes have information. Comey gets no love from me, due to his bullshit memo that he "hopes" (*eye-roll*) didn't impact the outcome of the election, but he was in man-baby's cross-hairs pretty quickly when he would not let the investigation go; on top of that, he continues attacking the FBI, and Mueller investigation, and those who once worked for him but have since left or been shown the door (Jeff Sessions comes to mind - that really riled him up more than anything, when Sessions recused himself. Damn). He also goes after judges, the media (duh), and certain reporters/journalists in particular (Jim Acosta). There are things that trumplethinskin clearly does not want known, and that is why he is constantly on Twitter, spreading his own lies and misinformation, to detract from the fact that there is a lot of shady business going on (among many other things, the earning money off your own presidency. Not his salary as president, but from every time he goes to one of his reports and the government has to pay for everything for the Secret Service. It is so disgusting. And don't even get me started on the whole 'Melania and Baron stayed in NYC to finish the school year' thing). So yes, trumplethinskin too, is afraid. It makes him more dangerous, because what lengths will he go to in order to really clamp down on the media. It is so incredibly foolish to label the media the 'enemy of the people', yet he has done just that. While I pretty much think they all played a hand in him getting elected also (he wouldn't have to spend a dime on ads or campaigning, they all treated this fucking circus sideshow like the main event, and look where we are now), his 'stable genius' supporters might take matters into their own hands and that is terrifying.

I really wish we could all wake up tomorrow and find that the last two years have just been one long nightmare. I want a country where I am proud to raise my daughter, and right now, this is not it. For all his flaws (as every president has), I long for the days of Obama's presidency. In those days, I could go without hearing his name for two-three days, and that was okay because I knew he was an intelligent and capable adult who cared about the country he was leading and the people he represented - whether they voted for him or not. Not once in those eight years did I go to sleep, then wake up in the morning genuinely surprised to still be alive. That has been my reaction more than a few mornings since man-baby took office, especially in those exceedingly tense days, weeks, months with North Korea. (I am not typically in the habit of learning from murderous dictators, but I did learn from Kim Jong-un what a dotard is.)

I have always been of the mind that if it waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. Trumplethinskin appointees can say some painfully funny and truthful things about their (former) employer, and yet he always manages to keep the support of his base. I don't get it, I really don't. If you've forgotten, here are a few of my favorites:

"He's a fucking moron" - Rex Tillerson, Former Secretary of State.

He has the understanding of a "5th or 6th grader" - James Mattis, current Defense Secretary.

"I stole it off his desk. I wouldn't let him see it. He's never going to see that document. Got to protect the country" Former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, on the document that would have withdrawn the US from a trade agreement with South Korea.

"A third of my job was trying to react to some of the really dangerous ideas that he had and try to give him reasons to believe that maybe they weren't such good ideas" former Staff Secretary Rob Porter, who literally stole and/or hid documents just so trumplethinskin would not see and sign them.

"He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. we're in crazytown. I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had" - soon-to-be former Chief of Staff John Kelly.

I was all set to give this book a solid four stars. I appreciate Woodward's professionalism all the way through, giving his audience just about as evenhanded review as anyone can. Woodward maintains that everything in the book is a firsthand account of the goings-on. Then at the very end I was confronted with this now-refuted quote from trumplethinskin's former lawyer, John Dowd:

"...but in the man and the presidency Dowd had seen a tragic flaw. in the politics back-and-forth, the evasions, the denials, the tweeting, the obscuring, crying "fake news," the indignations, Trump had one overriding problem that Dowd knew but could not bring himself to say to the president: 'You're a fucking liar.'"



  1. The scariest thing for me about trump is that he believes it when he says "fake news". I mean it would be bad enough if he were just being cynical and just trying to gin up his base and disparage CNN or whoever, but the fact that he BELIEVES it and so consequently feels like a victim, like he's in the RIGHT, makes me wonder what he won't do to "protect" himself. Like if he loses re- election, would he... leave? Or would he provoke a crisis? For the first time ever in my lifetime I feel like we have a cult of personality in the White House, and I know people who voted for him and think he's right! It's mind boggling. And FOX News bears so much responsibility for this.

    Same thing w/ Mueller. I mean we basically already HAVE collusion verified, whether it was planned ahead of time or just opportunistic and they were too dumb to know better- either way it's documented and yet I think maybe he TRULY believes he did nothing wrong. Again, what will he do while thinking sincerely he's doing the right thing? Scary times.

    I feel exactly the same way about Obama. I didn't have to worry about day to day stuff because I knew the occupant of th WH was intelligent enough not to do dumb stuff, for the most part.

    Anyway, the book haha- I do want to read it, although I also don't you know because I know it will depressing!

    Oh and douchenozzle... lol.

    1. Douchenozzle is one of my most favorite words!

      I do think the scenario you bring up is possible, which is fucking terrifying. Remember how he said that if he lost to Clinton, it would be because of vote tampering, and his supporters vowed to riot? He has no concept of what is real and what isn't, because he has been given everything his entire life. He has passed on that same God-awful traits to his disgusting children - there is hope for Baron at least! Melania is no better, but I hope Baron is kept as far away from the mess as possible.

  2. One of Greg's points there is really good-if he loses the election would he leave or throw a tantrum and demand to stay? It's like he has multiple personalities at times as his level of tantrum seems to change by the minute. All that Little Rocket Man and I've got a better nuclear button than you was frankly scary! I think he's unbalanced and dangerous. I also wonder why so many people blindly follow him and Fox News and believe everything they say and question nothing. This is one of the many Trump and US politics related books on my wishlist!

    1. it is probably one of the better books you will read on the subject, as Woodward was one of the journalist who broke Nixon's Watergate scandal. Wolff's book that I mentioned above is scary and funny in a chaotic clusterfuck kind of way. I think Greg made a really good point, because during the campaign season, he repeatedly said that if he lost to Clinton, it was because there was voter fraud going on. His supporters vowed to riot repeatedly if he did not win. I do fear what could happen, but he needs to go. It's time for the grownups to get back to work. I legitimately mean what I wrote when I said there were a few mornings I was surprised to wake up and find the world completely intact.

  3. I'm avoiding all the exposes at the moment, they'd just annoy me too much. I see enough of this 'charlie foxtrot' on CNN, MSNBC and the BBC to read about it too. I'm waiting for 5 years or so to read the analysis of how it all crashed & burned and how the whole lot of them ended up in jail (and how it led to a more rational electoral system because of his example).

    1. Even if you avoid all the others, I would still recommend this one. Woodward is an incredible journalist, and was half of the team that broke Nixon's Watergate scandal way back when. it is less expose and more of, this is what is going on right now, in the US. I so genuinely hope that the electoral system is overhauled. I was no supporter of Clinton, but when you win the popular vote by three million, that should matter more than electoral college votes. It's such a nightmare. We literally have the electoral college to PREVENT dangerous morons like him from getting into office. This is why we can't have nice things :-/


Thanks for visiting my little book nook. I love talking books so leave a comment and let's chat!